Looking for travel inspiration for 2014? Help an elephant. Win a trip to Thailand.

Thailand

Elephants bring good luck, we say. Some people even have elephant figures at their homes. Tiny animals made of glass, porcelain, clay or whatever else, proudly and happily hold their trunks up. Like they would be trying to catch the luck and give it to us as a gift.

Have you ever thought of what humans bring to elephants?Well, probably everything but good luck. Especially in Southeast Asia, where elephants are playing crucial role in local tourist industry. I’ve never been to this region but as SE Asia, particularly Thailand, is a very high on the American and European backpackers bucket lists, I think that I should spread the word and raise awareness on animal rights violation, that happens there on a daily basis.

Don’t you think that elephants are beautiful, majestic and free? Born wild, they belong to the nature, not to the human households. Turning them into a livestock is a cruel abuse, an act of unresponsible, unnecessary violence. This mistreatment is more common than you would like it to be.

Have you ever heard the word phajaan? It describes process of elephants domestification. Process, that installs fear in these great species, that breaks them. Domesticised elephants are forced to labour and used in tourist businesses.

Of course, I understand why elephant ride attracts people. I know they are sweet and exotic and you just can’t help yourself not to cuddle them.

Most of us would probably like to try it.

Most of us would probably like to pay for this illusion of getting into the wild.

Most of us probably wouldn’t think about a real cost of this entertainment.

Dead animals

Disabled animals

Blind animals

Abandoned baby animals

You name it

Fortunately, there is someone who cares. Meet Lek, the founder of Save Elephant Foundation, an NGO that runs The Elephant Nature Park located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lek has rescued her first elephant in 1995. Today, there are 36 elephants in the park. 4 of them are blind, 3 of them are babies. The park was created as a safe asylum for the mistreated animals, who are often unable to function without a human care. An asylum, where they are surrounded by love and all their needs are met. Unfortunately, the space of the park is limited. Lek and her elephants need more land for the Foundation to grow. The elephants need our help. Your help, my help, my neighbour’s help.
Travel Blogging Calendar
Elephants in Thailand

How can we help?

It’s easy.

Be responsible. Think about the influence your actions (and your money) have on the local community you encounter. Think about the hidden face of the industries you splurge on.Donate

Purchase the Travel Blogging Calendar. All the raised funds will go to the Save Elephant Foundation. Travel Blogging Calendar will allow you to travel around the world weekly, thanks to blog posts by fellow travel bloggers.

Spread the word through social media channels.

Enter the contest and win a $2000 voucher from Flight Network towards a flight to Thailand and an week-long, customizable tour provided the great adventure travel start up Where the Sidewalk Ends. The tour is for two people and it includes visiting the Elephant Nature Park!

Elephants have been bringing us good luck for centuries. Now it’s our turn to give it back.

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